Bats In Schools
Last summer, we were selected by Tesco Community Grants to be in the blue token customer vote at the Clitheroe store. Here we vied for funding for our latest project, Bats in Schools.
Thanks to the amazing shoppers at Tesco Clitheroe, we were successful. So, we received a grant to run some educational workshops with primary schools in Clitheroe. As the project name suggests, the focus for this project was everyone’s favourite flying mammal: the bat.
Why focus on Bats into Schools?
Bats play an important role in many environments as indicators of biodiversity, pollinators, pest controllers and seed dispersers. In Britain there are 18 species of bat (17 of which breed here), some of which rely on healthy rivers for their survival. Waterways can provide an incredibly important natural passage for the movement of bats as well as extensive foraging opportunities. Through educating children about these wonderful nocturnal creatures, we hope to instill in them yet another reason why we must protect and conserve our rivers and river habitats.
Through the workshops, we hope that pupils will learn lots about bats! We will look at the identifying characteristics of different bat species. These include the shape of their nose and ears, and length of arms and fingers. Pupils will compare bat anatomy to human anatomy and calculate what wingspan they would have (if they were a bat). We will delve into where bats live and what they eat, as well as how they use echolocation to locate their prey. Pupils will discuss all the reasons why bats are amazing, including all the hard work they do for the environment. Our team will also teach them what we can do to help look after these amazing creatures.
Each school group that takes part will also be able to make a few bat boxes. Each one of which we will use in our habitat schemes around the Ribble catchment. Finally, we hope to take a group of pupils and their parents from all the schools we work with on this project for a walk through Primrose Lodge one evening in the spring. We know there are bats using this habitat so we will be looking out for them and listening for them with the bat detectors.
The aim of Bats in Schools is to get young people excited about the diverse wildlife on their doorstep. Wildlife supported by our very own River Ribble. Creating pro-environmental river ambassadors of the future is something we are passionate about and can’t wait to bring bats into our education programme.